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Right Time, Right Place

January 18th, 2018

Right Time, Right Place

Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and allow all that surrounds you to quietly seep into your soul. In today's world we are surrounded by negativity and argument.... seemingly endless on social media like Facebook and Twitter, where although so many of us utilize such grand tools to "write our diaries of our lives" and utilize pay for ads to maintain our business, so many use it as an argument platform. It affects us, our hearts, our brains, our souls and our abilities to carry within us, our own desires to hold onto our own opinions and beliefs without fear of repercussion from strangers, and even family and friends. In this image I felt incredibly at peace, it took me away (for a little while) from all the hubub that surrounds us, and prior to my decision to capture this surreal image of a rainbow on the prairie, I allowed myself the "risk" of waiting just a little while to take in that beautiful setting without rushing to get my camera. I think this beauty lasted about ten minutes, because right before she started to dissipate I finally peeled my eyes away and slowly walked into our ranch house, picked up my camera and walked back outside, hoping for a few more minutes of such an incredible rainbow and sky, and as luck and a pretty lengthy paintbrush by the hand of the Almighty, I grabbed this image in one shot, with time left over to continue to spare the moment at hand. "Right Time, Right Place." ©Amanda Smith - Wyoming Photographer of the American West.

Amanda Smith Wyoming on gathering Corriente on the Henry Ranch

September 12th, 2016

Amanda Smith Wyoming on gathering Corriente on the Henry Ranch

I feel so blessed to have been able to photograph the Henry Ranch gathering of their Corriente cattle and calves! And create images like this! Woot! Such an incredible family and their friends! Can't wait to show the rest of what I captured of these incredible Cowboys and Cowgirls!

Amanda Smith, Wyoming Photographer of the American West

Heifers on the Lamb by Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer

January 10th, 2016

Heifers on the Lamb by Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer

While out with our faithful and ever inquisitive Heifers today, I decided to get down to ground level and snap a shot of them showing off their inquisitive ways. Just as I focused in....this happened. She walked right up through the middle of them, and just stood there.
I was so surprised that I wasn't even sure what I was seeing at first. Needless to say this little peewee lamb got her own personally chauffeured ride back to her rightful owners on a ranch not too far from ours. Our Heifers had become her greatest protectors. What a beautiful lesson learned today, knowing that even while we are a frail little lamb on a cold winter's day, He will always help us find our way. :) ♡ ♡ ♡ Have a Blessed day, and stay safe and warm! :)

Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer

Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer

September 10th, 2015

Art Prints

Ranch Wife vs Professional Photographic Artist To Be or Not to Be TO BE

February 24th, 2015

Rancher's Wife Vs. Professional Photographer by Amanda Smith, Wyoming Photographer

Ranch Wife vs. Professional Photographer - To Be, or Not To Be (TO BE!)

Its quite a row to hoe, living the life of a Rancher's Wife. Not just because I am dubbed (lovingly) a "Rancher's Wife" (and yes, its actually a recognized career term in most ranching areas,) but because I'm not just a "Rancher's Wife," none of us really are... we are much more. And we love it. We are the partner that assists in all aspects of Ranch Chores, from fencing, to pulling calves, to cattle drives, doctoring, stitching, weaning, hauling hay, you name it. And we love it. Our husband's are called "Ranchers," because that is what they do, they Ranch for a living, and its an incredible way to live.

I take my title of Rancher's Wife quite seriously, but perhaps not literally. I wonder if that makes sense to any of you who might be reading this? I can do everything the Rancher does, albeit closing a fence might take a little more oomph, and in that case a little bit longer than my husband might need, but I can and have done everything he can do. I'm skilled at all the heavy equipment on our ranch, I can operate a John Deere, (small and huge,) a Caterpillar, a skid steer, grader, six by six, and the ranch fire truck. And I'm sure I've missed a few.

Even better news than this responsibility I inherited when I married my husband? Being able to use my Professional Photographic Skills to capture some of the most amazing art one could imagine of the American West. The working cowboy.

Just think about it. After stitching up a newborn calf for whatever reason the situation might have entailed, I can wash my hands, grab my trusty camera and photograph those babies that make the hearts move of animal lovers everywhere. More-so, while moving cattle during a five or seven hour push, or even a quick push, I experience ample opportunity, when time permits, to photograph the land, horses, cowboys, the cattle, Eagles, badgers, and that of my very own cowboy, the Rancher. Its a love affair between being there for my husband as a Rancher's Wife, and being able to create some darn good artwork out of the photographs I create on our ranch.

Opportunities also arise when my husband and I go to annual bull sales, after picking out and examining which bulls will work best with our herds, I happily engage in some fast shutter photographing of the Auctioneer, the cowboys bidding in the front row, and the ring man who loudly call out the new bids. Capturing that emotion is one of my all time favorite things to capture. And I love when those who view those photographs, feel the moment I intended on capturing. Success. That's what the end result is for me, when someone can feel what I felt when I captured that moment.

I love to weave stories into the photographs I capture while working on our ranch, and I love it when my clients and customers openly tell me that they felt like they were there.

Now keep in mind, I don't just photograph happenings on our ranch, I travel for my photography and I capture and create all walks of life, I just happen to be most passionate about the one I'm living as a Rancher's Wife.

Its long hours, and hard seasons living the life of a Rancher's Wife. But the benefits that come with this well earned title, are well worth blood, sweat and tears a woman puts into her husband's ranch. Especially when she's combining that love, with her own love... like I am; Photography.

Amanda Smith, Wyoming Photographer

Wyoming Blood Red Moon and Lunar Eclipse by Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer

August 30th, 2014

Wyoming Blood Red Moon and Lunar Eclipse by Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer

What a fine night this was in April 2014, to capture the Blood Red Moon and the Lunar Eclipse in Wyoming, a pure night of fabulous clear skies, and starry starry stars. Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer of Amanda Smith Photography and Together West Art spent several hours capturing the Red Moon of 2014. The results were superb. Set at a 20th of a second shutter and ISO 1600, each phase of the moon was captured atop a tri-pod, and complimented with a thermos of hot coffee and a package of Oreo Cookies.

Amanda Smith Continues Discussions on Fall Photography in Wyoming

November 1st, 2013

Amanda Smith Continues Discussions on Fall Photography in Wyoming

Capturing this wonderful photograph, from the words of Amanda Smith Wyoming Photographer

There is nothing quite like photographing Wyoming in the fall.  The great cowboy state offers a plethora of "shooting" opportunities and I ventured out to get just that.  With the leaves already in full character of their fall colors in some parts of the state, I was eager to find a good cross between a cowboy, a horse, and Autumn. (whoever she is, ar ar ar.)

Settling down of a dusty road somewhere in the middle of Wyoming, I lazily pulled my truck over for a look-see of what might be around this beautiful grove of oaks and ranch land I'd ventured near. Grabbing my sack lunch from the backseat of old red, and a bottle of cold Iced Tea, I turned the truck off and left the radio on low volume, enjoying the soft but masculine tones of the "Man in Black."   Biting into my cold bologna and mustard sandwich (who doesn't like those?)  I watched a cowboy driving a truck hauling a trailer pull in behind me, and then as I slowly chewed on my lunch, beside me, and then past me.  Catching a glimpse of him, I saw the buckaroo style hat he was wearing and the load of horses he was hauling, and my photographic mind began to go wild.  "Oh please stop, please stop and unload those horses, and please be wearing something other than sweatpants and sneakers with that brazenly cool cowboy hat" I silently whispered through a mouth full of meat, white bread and mustard.

Urrrkkkk... the truck and trailer came to a halt about 100 yards in front of me and around a bend of those oh so gorgeous bright yellow oak trees (or where they cottonwoods? hell I didn't know, but I guess I better find out if I am going to be photographing them.) And God knows I was praying I'd be doing just that, complete with cowboy and horses.

Out that cowboy jumped from the cab of his silver dodge and wouldn't you know it, he was wearing red buckaroo boots, the tightest pair of jeans I have ever seen, and a neck-kerchief to boot.  "Are you kidding me?" I thought to myself as I marveled at the opportunity laying itself out in front of me.  Quickly finishing off the rest of my sandwich and slamming down a huge amount of iced tea to swish around in my mouth (ensuring there were no sandwich pieces stuck to my teeth) I climbed out of the cab of old red and lumbered into the back seat to grab my camera out of its fully padded and extremely tough camera bag.

Reeeek....  I heard the familiar noise of the back of a horse trailer being opened up, and I froze.  "AND he's going to unload the horse?" giddy with a ridiculous amount of excitement I quickly but quietly shut the door to my truck and sauntered over to the cowboy and his entourage.  "Excuse me, I'm here creating some western photographic art shots and I'd be deeply obliged if you wouldn't mind my photographing whatever it is your doing, unless its something bad." I said through a smile as he looked up at me. Studying me for a brief moment, I was lost in translation.  "Oh, wait, here" and I handed him my business card (which clearly means I am a professional and not a robber, right?) Taking the card that really nice cowboy said "have at it" and walked up into the trailer.

Alright, that was easy.  I wasn't going to waste this precious moment by making small talk so I set my camera for the proper exposure of the day - the good ole Sunny 16 rule - and promptly set my F-stop at 16 and my exposure at 60th of a second (aka 60.)  Not wanting to start out too close, lest I miss the scope of what was unfolding before my eyes, I made my way back to old red and turned around to study this morsel through my 70-200mm lens.  Dropping back to about halfway on the zoom, I watched this unknown cowboy unload first one, then two, then three, then a fourth horse.

What freaking luck was I having right about now?

Three chestnut colored horses and a black one, one tall cowboy wearing a pair of red buckaroo boots leading said pack of horses to a nearby watering hole. All surrounded by the prettiest Wyoming oak trees, completely dressed in fall colors, that I have ever seen.  THAT'S what kind of luck I was having.

Off and shooting I went, snap... did I even need another?  Snap... Nope. it just isn't going to get better than this.  Everybody has seen the cowboy leaning over the watering hole with his horse.  I wasn't interested in trying to re-invent the wheel with something that was already done superbly by another Western Photographic Artist. I had the shot I wanted, and I already was madly in love with the image I had just created.

"Hey, thanks!" I yelled, as I climbed back up in my truck."  No problem, he yelled back and waved.  "I can send you a print if you like?"  I said.  "I'm not really a print kind of guy" he yelled back. "I hope you got a couple of good ones."  and off he went.

Holy CAMOLY I thought to myself.  What a GREAT day this turned out to be!  Checking the LCD (because I'm obsessive like that) on my Nikon I viewed what would surely be a prize winning photo, noted by the beating of my heart and the adrenalin racing through my body. It was good, I loved it. I cannot wait to get it on the big screen. And off I went.

Folks this photo was created in a very spur of the moment, kind of moment. Sometimes, well most all of the time for me, those can offer up the very best kinds of moments.  Those moments where you really feel something in your heart when you depress that shutter button.  This is a good lesson to remember to always have your camera with you. You never know when a great moment is going to unfold in front of you. Be on the ready to capture it.

Have a great day and God Bless!

Amanda Smith, Wyoming Photographer

Shooting for Christ, Focusing on God ©

Click here for my first discussion on Capturing Fall in Wyoming:

Tired of misinformed people and their negative comments about South Dakota October Atlas Blizzard

November 1st, 2013

Tired of misinformed people and their negative comments about South Dakota October Atlas Blizzard

Our hearts and prayers go out to our fellow neighbors and ranchers in South Dakota who are not only dealing with huge losses from last week's incredibly under-predicted blizzards, but also from the onset of negativity that under-educated and mis-informed people have been making.

From our ranch to yours, we pray continuously for your recovery. Kudos to those of you who, although may be far from understanding what it takes to be in the ranching industry, still send prayers and help to everyone that was affected by these horrendous storms in both Wyoming and South Dakota. Just like any National or International tragedy, this too, is an equal tragedy that will have a lasting effect not just on these incredibly strong and courageous Ranchers in both states, but also on everyone directly or indirectly related to the livestock industry, everywhere.

I am married to a Rancher, to his ranch and to his family of incredibly hard working folks, so I know you will believe me when I say that Ranchers are very strong willed people, and those affected by the storm will get through this. Ranchers are not one to reach out for help, as they are very used to getting through plenty of hard times with just the strength in their hard working hands and backs, and the love of their lifestyle that has been in their hearts for generations. They don't ask for hand-outs, and they don't wait around for someone else to come pick up the pieces. They simply get through it and they get it done. They've seen more beautiful times than most will ever encounter in the work world and they've seen more hard times than most of us will when it comes to working for a living, and yet they carry on. Why? because ranching is in their blood, it cannot be shaken, it cannot be replaced by anything else.  It is why families have carried on the ranching traditions for generations upon generations. It is why some of the strongest men and women on this earth are 70+years old and still able to work circles around most. It is a passion that most cannot understand, but most certainly are intrigued by. It is a group of people who remind us what honesty and integrity is all about, and it is a group of people who will weather any storm, at any time, and never, ever give up. All for the sake of their family, their lifestyle, their livestock and the undeniable passion for what they do, that drives them.  So when you see a negative comment from a poorly mis-informed or mis-guided person, simply pray for that person, and follow it up with a positive comment.

These ranchers don't need to feel the pressure of having to explain why an under-predicted but record breaking blizzard wreaked havoc on the livestock that they give their blood, sweat and tears to raise, and neither do the people who are trying to help them. You won't hear a rancher complaining, but if you look close enough you will see it in their eyes. And when you see that kind of pain and sorrow in the eyes of a rancher, you can be sure its the kind of pain and sorrow that sits deep within their hearts, and never, ever goes away.  Godspeed to every rancher affected by this horrific and devastating storm.

There are 5 resources you can check out if you can help out in any way, and you can find those resources here. If you can't help that's okay, you can still pray for the recovery of their industry, and for their broken hearts:

( P.S. for those who like to tear every single detail apart for the sake of hearing themselves negate every little thing, and spark controversy regarding this blizzard, the attached black and white image of the cowboy is not an image affiliated with the blizzard in any way shape or form, it was taken by me in 2004 of a rancher in Arizona, who has also seen a tough time or two, and I thought it was a fitting photo for the moment.)

God Bless and Godspeed!

Very sincerely,

Amanda Smith

Professional Western Photographic Artist and Photography Instructor

Shooting for Christ, Focusing on God

Photographing Wild Horses by Wyoming Photographer Amanda Smith

November 1st, 2013

Photographing Wild Horses by Wyoming Photographer Amanda Smith

Clamoring up the side of the small hill I was hiding behind, I mis-interpreted the sound of their hoofbeats as the wild beating of my exploding heart.

This kind of adrenalin is nothing like anything I have felt before, and I have felt a lot of adrenalin while creating my works of Western Art.  Fighting the urge to sit up and immediately start firing, I laid there, concentrating on quieting my breathing, slowing my heart rate and calming my "ohmylordinheavenabovetheyarealmostuponmeandisurehopeidontmissthisshot" nerves.

Louder their hoofbeats became, indicating that they were coming closer... then suddenly, nothing. It was as though someone had signaled each hoofbeat to stop at the same time.  I could almost hear their breathing as I made a conscious (and God help me a good one) decision to poke my red head up from where I hid. Still just a bit off in the distance they stood. Majestic in all their uncanny glory, and just as quickly as I poked my head up, their leader began to run again.

I knew they hadn't seen me, because they were running right towards me.  Praying to the Father above I quickly requested that my cramped up and frozen with nerves fingers begin to work. And work they did.  Up went my camera to my face, a little too quickly as I knocked myself in the nose.  "Ouch! I ALWAYS do that" I quietly whispered to no one in particular.  Towards me they ran, mountains looming in the distance, these fabulous creatures were giving me the perfect show and I felt immediately blessed. Snappity, snap, snap!  Squealing inside myself I held in my desire to scream YEAH BABY YEAH as they ran on past me, slowing down as if to perhaps examine me from the distance of my long lens, I swear that leader looked me right in the eye.  Well, in the lens, anyway....  God they are gorgeous creatures.  As they continued their seemingly un-interrupted travels past me, and off into whatever distance they were searching for, I sat back down in my original crouching position, and quietly ran through in my mind, the wonder that I had just captured.

And just like the song says "Wild, wild horses... couldn't keep me away" I stayed for a while, relishing in the moment of all the beauty that God continues to give us, no matter who we are, what we've done, or where we are sitting at any given time. Right before our eyes, when we keep them open, are the wonderful gifts that He and He alone can give us.  Its up to us to capture them, don't you think?

[caption id="attachment_38" align="aligncenter" width="700"]horses, wild, amanda smith, wyoming, photographer Wild, Wild Horses © Amanda Smith, Wyoming Photographer[/caption]

*(please see notation below my signature line) I photographed this wonderful group of horses using a long lens set at about 70mm with a shutter speed set at 1/400 of a second so that I could freeze as much motion as possible of these beautifully graceful, running horses. I captured this image with a an f-stop (how much light I wanted to let in) of f11 to create a depth of field that allowed much of what I was shooting to remain sharp, including the background.  I hoped that my chosen settings would work to create a "pop off the foreground" kind of feeling, while keeping everything including the movement of the horses, crystal clear and sharp.  I felt confidant that I had done just that.  And I did.

I call this "Wild, Wild horses..." because well, you get the picture, right?  :)

Happy shooting, don't forget your camera, and God Bless!

Amanda Smith Wyoming photographer

Shooting for Christ, Focusing on God

*photo attached created by Amanda Smith ©2011 - not the actual same group of wild horses photographed in 2007 during the described shoot above.  That image, although created in the exact same manner, was lost in a hard drive crash during the upload of the described shoot. We were able to study the wonderful photos I captured that day, and moments later those photos were gone forever. We hope you don't mind that since the story and the settings were waiting to be told, that we included an equally wonderful photograph captured by Amanda Smith Wyoming in 2011